November 10, 2020
The New York artist, AKA Shayna McHayle, on her explicit lyrics, skewering toxic masculinity and finding space for introspection
Junglepussy: ‘I don’t like the narrative that women have to be superheroes’
Junglepussy has a picture of the original nasty gal, Betty Davis, on her fridge in her Brooklyn apartment. “A lot of people felt the same way about her that they do about me,” the Rapper, AKA 28-year-old Shayna McHayle, explains, citing the raw funk pioneer as a major influence on her latest album. Davis’s liberated display of black sexuality shocked the United States in the 1970s; when McHayle released her first song as Junglepussy, “random” people at parties would tell her to change her name. Since then, she has rapped about browsing for contraception in the aisles of Trader Joe’s and boasted she has been “feelin’ the dick all up in my armpit”. But female pleasure, she says, is still seen as radical. “I just can’t believe that 40 years later, people are still acting like Women don’t feel this way,” she sighs.
Rap has always had its raunchy moments but it does seem that, more recently, unapologetic female pleasure has been having a lyrical awakening – and you only need to look to this summer’s sexplicit smash WAP to see the furore it causes. McHayle, however, has been grinding conservative gears since as far back as 2012, long before Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion celebrated the lubricated joy of their lady gardens.
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